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Mexican Tourism Secretary Suggests Legalizing Marijuana in Tourist Towns

Opinions about marijuana in Mexico are rapidly changing. Not only does a popular Mexico City mayor candidate want to legalize personal-use cultivation, but former Mexican President Vicente Fox says marijuana prohibition is a failure. On Thursday, Mexico tourism secretary Enrique de la Madrid suggested legalizing marijuana in tourist resorts.

While De la Madrid now says his opinion on “legalizing marijuana was a personal comment,” he did originally cite that doing so would help diminish drug violence in popular tourist destinations.

He brought up Baja California Sur, the Mexican state home to Cabo San Lucas…and the second-highest murder rate in the country. He also mentioned Quinta Roo, home to Cancun.

“It’s absurd we’re not taking this step as a country,” de la Madrid said at a conference in Mexico City. “Even if there’s work to do on the whole of the country, I’d like to see that it might be done in Baja California and Quinta Roo.”

There’s been a surge in gang violence over the last year, with Baja and Quinta Roo two of the areas that have been hit hardest. It’s suspected this is what’s led President Trump’s latest tweets false claims about Mexico now “rated the number one most dangerous country in the world,” citing that the border wall is needed for “the safety and security of our country.”

Trump apparently hasn’t been paying attention to what’s going on in other parts of the world. The Mexican ministry snubbed Trump’s comments in a statement that said, “Even though Mexico has a significant problem with violence, it is plainly false that Mexico is the most dangerous country in the world.”

The governor of Baja California Sur, Carlos Mendoza, supports the idea of legalizing marijuana in tourist areas. “It seems foolish and illogical that we’re here fighting with a strategy that cost lives in Mexico and magically, crossing the border,” Mendoza says, “marijuana becomes legal.”

Although de la Madrid was adamant the public understand his statements were only his opinion, he did mention that he is “convinced that we must discuss it, as part of the solution to violence and insecurity in Mexico.”

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